Unusual for its immense size, this display piece shows a still life composed of foods ready for cooking, arranged on a fringed towel. Ingredients from the sea, the vegetable garden, the hen house, the orchard and the vine are depicted in the naturalistic style for which the artist would become known. It is worth noting the great skill of the ceramic representation of the traditional basketwork, which enhances its lifelike quality.
Rafael Bordalo made many other decorative plates, in various formats, in which he explored the theme of the still life, or depicted living nature, with national flora and fauna in his efforts towards creating an identity for Portuguese art. This piece was commissioned by Adriano Júlio Coelho, an art dealer and friend of the artist. It was given to the museum by Coelho’s son, in 1932. We only know of two other similar plates, this being the one that achieved the greatest visual effect.


  • Title: Decorative plate ‘Laden Table’
  • Creator: Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro
  • Date Created: 1897
  • Rights: Museu Bordalo Pinheiro

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